Leonard Walentynowicz was a happy man Tuesday night when he left Grand Island Town Hall for his home on Whitehaven Road -- happy because his home soon will be on White Oak Lane.
The Town Board decided unanimously Tuesday to allow the name of one section of White-haven Road -- the area encompassing one section of Fairway Greens -- to be renamed, thus bringing a successful end to a yearlong effort by residents to have their road recognized by a different name.
"Quite honestly, that's a road. It needs to be called something other than Whitehaven Road," Councilman Michael E. Heftka said.
The road, currently a dead-end, leads from Whitehaven into the town-house development. Eventually, it will form a semicircle, with two entrances on Whitehaven.
As leader of the homeowners association, Walentynowicz recently directed the push for the town to give the private road its own distinct name.
Because the town houses had a Whitehaven address without actually being on Whitehaven, visitors often had trouble finding the homes, he said.
Nobody argued that it was confusing to find houses there. But when residents asked for the road to be named, they encountered some opposition from town officials who feared it was the first step toward residents asking the town to adopt the road, which does not meet certain standards for municipal roads.
The board had put the matter on hold last month and asked Walentynowicz to submit a petition showing that more than half the homeowners supported the change.
The petition he turned in, which noted that the town is not obligated to adopt the road, indicated 18 of 23 homeowners in favor of the name change.
Councilwoman Mary S. Cooke emphasized that the road remains private.
"It's different from a town road," she said. "Densities and setbacks are still another issue we are not addressing here."
In approving the change, the board stipulated that residents would be responsible for erecting street signs.
In a separate matter Tuesday, the board appointed Peter J.Morelock Jr. to the Planning Board in a 3-2 vote on party lines. Morelock's appointment came immediately after the Republican majority on the board voted down the appointment of Robert H. Westfall.
Over the summer, the board interviewed more than half a dozen candidates for the seat. Two months ago, the field was narrowed to the two finalists, whom the board reinterviewed in a closed-door session Tuesday.
The seat on the seven-member advisory board has been vacant since the April 19 death of La-Verne C. "Bunny" Luther. Morelock, a state Department of Transportation employee, will serve the remainder of Luther's term, until Dec. 31, 2003.